After a super-busy season of racing, Ty Tessman is relaxing back home in Canada with another ROAR Championship and 3rd place overall at the recent IFMAR Worlds - both achievements taken with the help of his HB D413!
We were lucky enough to be able to steal a few minutes from his busy schedule and get a few questions to Ty as he worked on his buggy:
Thanks for talking with us Ty! We know that the RC racing world is anxious to hear what it's like to drive the D413.
First things first: the designer of the D413, Torrance Deguzman, says that he designed the car to be super-durable so that drivers can feel confident about pushing 100% without fear of breaking. How long did it take for you to get used to driving full-bore around the track? Were there any big changes to your driving style required?
I was able to drive the car like I drive my 1/8 scale so it wasn't hard for me, when I drove my previous 4WD cars I felt that I couldn't push the car, if I had to make a pass like taking a jump long or jumping a curb I didn't have the confidence that the car could take it. I had to drive accordingly, if I got behind I basically had to hope for the other driver to crash I just couldn't go any faster. With the D413 I have the confidence that no matter what I throw at it, it isn't going to break so that if I have to step it up a bit I don't really give the car's durability a second thought. This is very important in mains when it comes to side by side racing.
And did you have any ‘wow’ moments when something happened that you were sure had broken the car, but it kept on going?
There was the one moment in A2 at the worlds where Cavalieri spun out in front of me, I had nowhere to go and I hit him and spun out, and then Maifield was right behind me with also no where to go hit me. It all happened within about a second, both their cars broke and I drove away, it was a pretty spectacular crash and definitely showed the durability of the D413, although I did bend the front sway bar.
You were qualified 3rd to start the triple A-Mains and you’re the reigning ROAR Champion, so you’re no slouch on the track, but just ahead of you, there's one racer trying to hang onto his World title and ahead of him is the European Champ on pole, who’s going to be desperate to not let anyone past. Do you think there was more pressure on them than there was on you going into the mains?
I can't speak for them but for me this is probably the second most nerve wracking race I have ever run, a lot of the pressure I felt was put on me by myself, I really wanted to do well with the new car, I did everything I could to prepare for this race, I think the only thing that could have been better is if I could have had more time with the car but I would have to say that the last couple of laps of the 3rd main was the most nervous I have ever been in my racing career.
And how do you deal with race pressure like that when a World title is on the line? What kind of tips could you give someone who gets on pole for the first time at a club event?
I say a silent prayer that my Lord and saviour will help me to stay calm and focused on what I need to do which is drive my own race and don't crash. To someone that is on pole for the first time at a club race I would say try and stay calm, take a deep breath, run your own race, you are on pole for a reason you are obviously fast enough just try not to crash.
In the second A-Main, you went through 2 crashes that could have ended your run, (I think with a broken car in each incident), and in fact we saw in the A3 run Matsukura broke to lose his chance at the title, and we saw Lutz break in the A1 as well – if drivers are this rough at the World Championship level, how do you think the D413 will hold up in clubman races around the world?
This was my first electric worlds and I was quite surprised how rough the 4WD mains were, this track was extremely difficult and extremely fast and throwing the wind factor in made it even more difficult but I can honestly say that the thought of me breaking my car never crossed my mind. I ran all practice, all qualifying and all the mains without breaking once, the only parts I replaced were the inner hinge pin mounts that wore from the abrasive surface, one slightly bent shock screw and one sway bar from the crash in A2. I think that without question the D413 will definitely outlast every other car on the track.
Back to racing tips for a moment: the Worlds track was huge, and presumably you have to learn the track a section at a time – what’s your process for learning a new track, especially one with such tough and complex areas?
Before the race even starts my Dad and I walk the track and we pretty much have the lines figured out before I even drive on the track, then I just have to learn how much throttle for each jump and each section. The depth perception from the drivers stand is always slightly different and on the worlds track the drivers stand was unusually high for an electric race, the first couple of laps I kind of take it easy getting the angles and speed figured out, it normally only takes the first practice round to get the layout figured out and then I need to work on getting more and more speed as I go.
And back to the D413: For you, what was the difference between the shorty LiPo, which is what 4WD buggies seem to be moving to, and saddle pack? What advantages will HB racers have being able to swap between the two setups? Will it be as big as going from rear- to mid-motor in 2WD?
The difference between the shorty and saddle pack is not that big it is more of a subtle change, the shorty makes the car lighter and more nimble and the saddle pack basically slows everything down, the handling response is toned down and the car feels a little bit lazier. I could definitely see using the saddle pack on really rough tracks, like the one that the Euros was run on this year.
Finally, when the D413 gets in racer’s hands around
the world, they’re going to want to know the best setup
– which is going to be yours, obviously! So what’s the
number one thing racers should do with the D413 when they get it
Until the car is released we are kind of keeping everything under wraps as to not give our competition any insight into what we are doing but when it is released we will have setups for both loose and high bite tracks and we are working on some build tips videos that will be posted on my website and also be shared with HPI for their website.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions, Ty!
Thanks to HPI for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts on this awesome car.
We'd like to thank Ty and the rest of 'Team Tessmann' for their help and achievements this year: his father Gord, mother Leann and sister Jesse!